On Thursday, January 4, the survival series “The Snow Society” was released on Netflix, which tells the story of a real-life plane crash that occurred in the Andes on October 13, 1972, and the subsequent struggle for survival in harsh climatic conditions of those who managed to survive. The film received excellent press and is competing for an Oscar from Spain in the Best International Feature Film category. In the review below we tell you what caused the universal recognition.
an infinitely sad story that does not leave you indifferent; extremely high-quality technical side – from the depiction of injuries on the bodies of the doomed to the scene of the plane crash; high-quality drama woven into the plot of survival; good casting
in fact, there are no significant shortcomings here, except that this is a difficult movie to watch, capable of emotionally draining. Therefore, it is advisable to recommend the film to those viewers who feel the strength to watch it
“Society of Snow” / La sociedad de la nieve
Genre: Survival film
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
Starring Enzo Vogrincic, Matias Recalt, Agustin Pardella, Thomas Wolf, Francisco Romero
Year of manufacture 2024
In October 1972, the Uruguayan rugby team Old Christians looked forward to the journey from Montevideo to Santiago for their next match. On board the Fairchild FH-227D airliner, operating a charter flight from the capital of Uruguay to the capital of Chile, there were forty passengers, including young athletes, their relatives and friends, as well as five crew members.
On approach to the airport near Santiago, in terrible weather conditions, the pilot announced in advance that the flight was landing, although in fact there were approximately 70 kilometers left to the destination. After descending and improving visibility, the doomed ones discovered with horror that they were rushing straight into the rock at full speed, but there was not enough time to change the situation.
As a result of the collision, the nose, tail and wings of the aircraft were torn off. The fuselage rolled down a snowy slope and stopped at the foot of the extinct volcano Tinguiririka. Some people died immediately, and those who survived were forced to wage an uncompromising struggle for survival in the most difficult conditions.
This is not the first time that cinema has addressed this terrible disaster: in 1993, Frank Marshall’s film “The Alive” was released, which was also dedicated to those events in the Andes, and Ethan Hawke played the main role. There is also a Mexican version from 1976, but few people remember it now, not to mention the fact that Roger Ebert rated the movie zero points in his review.
“Society of Snow” is intended to recall the terrible tragedy, but above all it is an attempt to interpret famous events as authentically as possible, with Spanish-speaking actors and even location filming at the scene of the tragedy.
The plot is based on the book of the same name by the Uruguayan writer and journalist Pablo Vierci, which documents the stories of all participants in the events who managed to survive. In addition, the filmmakers and actors personally listened to the survivors and spoke with the families of the victims.
It is obvious that a lot of work was done by the creative team even before filming. This was reflected in the result. Director Juan Antonio Bayona, who after the hit “The Impossible” (2012) is not the first to film about disasters and survival, produced a horrifyingly realistic movie, focused not so much on the triumph of the human spirit, but on mental (and physical) torment and the complexity of moral choice, which the heroes had to face.
Yes, each of them is a hero who, nevertheless, had to eat pieces of meat from a dead friend to survive. But just yesterday they were planning together to meet Chilean beauties. The authors do not manipulate this abnormality and delicately approach a topic that is difficult to wrap their heads around, inviting the viewer to become an outside observer. Here, hardly anyone wants to be the one who judges.
The Snow Society is truly difficult to watch, especially given the troubling times we all find ourselves living through. There is no room for the spectacular rushing inherent in Hollywood survival films, so you shouldn’t expect any entertainment from watching it.
Bayona’s film is mostly conversational and extremely down-to-earth, to a certain extent intimate, despite the majestic snow-covered landscapes around. Even the emotional ending is almost devoid of the usual pathos. But this is where the power of the story lies, in particular the achievement of the aforementioned realism. And if you believe what is happening on the screen, you will definitely care about the fate of the characters.
There are quite a lot of the latter in this story, so you won’t be able to remember most of them. The plot has several conventional main characters with leadership qualities, but there is no desire to root for anyone separately, and such justice seems appropriate. Among the others, the character of Enzo Vogrinčić stands out especially, who is also entrusted with the role of off-screen narrator. But, most likely, he is remembered because his facial features reveal a young version of Adam Driver.
“Society of Snow” is a technically precise work in which the plane crash scene, with its outstanding tension and dynamic editing at the climax, deserves a separate analysis, and the location shooting evokes fear and admiration at the same time. But the most important thing is that this is a very sad and difficult movie, which, however, can melt the thickest ice in the heart.
It is not without reason that “The Snow Society” received universal recognition and was nominated for a Golden Globe, an Oscar and a bunch of other awards. This story once again reminds us that even in the darkest and most difficult times there is a place for saving light.